ECO-DHARMA : Future of all beings in global boiling

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The 29th Annual Sem Pringpuangkeo Public Lecture

by David R. Loy

Monday, 26th February 2024,
Sathirakoses-Nagapradipa Foundation, Bangkok

Transcript by Youtube to Text Chrome Extension
Time Speech
(47:11) well first of all thank you to Unchalee for that very warm introduction I’m very grateful and thanks to all of you for coming this afternoon um I really feel very happy to be here in Bangkok with you uh it feels very much like home but also in Colorado where I live right now it’s very very cold with lots of snow so I’m even
(47:45) happier to be here in Bangkok sometimes it seems to me that the world is breaking down that the world that I have grown up with and usually I take it for granted that this world is falling apart and I wonder if any of you sometimes feel the same way for of course we know that Buddhism emphasizes impermanence that things are changing all the time but I think it’s
(48:50) more than that right now uh a few years ago in an inter interview Noam chsky said something very shocking he said right now is the most dangerous time in human history and I think he’s probably right um impermanence one reason of course is the climate crisis which chsky mentioned and I think most of us here already know about how much the Earth is becoming warmer last year was the warmest year in recorded history and it looks like
(49:56) like last month and this month too will be the warmest January and February in recorded history but actually the climate crisis although it is very very serious it’s only part of a much larger ecological crisis uh regarding our relationship with the Earth so for example we know there’s an Extinction event that right now many plant and animal species are disappearing and this is very tragic for the Web of Life
(51:23) um there are many other ecological issues as well uh there are dead zones in the ocean where Rivers polluted rivers meet the that’s a good example um many uh we are dependent upon agriculture but a lot of the top soil on the earth is being depleted in general we can say that there are so many possible things to talk about but certainly there are so many types of pollution in the air in the water in the earth and in our [Music] bodies
(52:54) for and in addition to the ecological crisis there are many other problems we can look to um I come from the land of Donald Trump do I need to say anything more you know it looks like he could become president again which to me seems unbelievable yeah there is also an economic crisis the gap between the rich very few rich people and many many poor people it is the worst now than it has ever been and it’s getting it continues to get worse and
(53:59) this is also connected with the ecological crisis because the richest 1% are in the world are responsible for about 23 of all the carbon emissions yes so the the web the the connection between economic political ecological is very tight we have a huge crisis gas um carbon emission when we put all of these problems
(55:17) together all of these crises it seems fair to say that civilization as we know it is self-destructing we have a civilization that has lost its way it’s quite ironic because only in the last century or so have we achieved a really Global civilization and already this civilization is breaking down self-destructing um
(56:38) so what should we do in this dangerous situation I am reminded of two of my favorite Zen stories in the first story a student asked the master what should we do when difficult times come and the master says this is hard to show uh welcome to welcome those difficult times because our path is not about avoiding difficult times it’s about responding appropriately to them uh often in difficult times is when how do we say it sometimes they can be the best for us because they encourage us they require us to transform to grow
(57:34) the most in order to meet them that’s the first story The okay shall I go ahead I know um in the Second
(58:43) Story a student asks the master what is the fruit of a lifetime of practice in other words if we practice for a long time maybe meditation h what do we learn from it how do we grow and the answer I think is quite wonderful the master said responding appropriately what do we learn from our practice we learn to respond appropriately to whatever the situation is and this is important because many times we can understand the spiritual path about escaping this world right going somewhere else and the really important point is no the spiritual path
(59:32) is about becoming more fully aware of our situation and responding in an appropriate way can ATI te but here is the question how can we respond appropriately to such a dangerous difficult
(1:00:36) situation how can we do that and can Buddhism really help us maybe not remember that the Buddha lived in a very different time and place Iron Age India maybe 2400 years ago so the kinds of problems we have today are very different from the problems in his time and we can read the poly Canon or the Mahayana sutras but we’re not going to find specific answers of how to deal with climate crisis or the ecological crisis that we have today [Music] for
(1:02:02) course even though Buddhism the traditional Buddhist teachings they don’t talk about the crisis today still there are important implications in the teachings that we can develop if we look at the teachings there are hints there are ideas there are possibilities that can help us a great deal but if also requires us to be creative we need to remember that Buddhist emphasis on impermanence applies to Buddhism and Buddhism too it has changed when it has gone to a new place when it encounters a new situation for
(1:02:44) example when Buddhism went to China it met DSM and it became Chan or later Zen Buddhism Tibetan Buddhism uh tantric Buddhism and Native Bond so Buddhism historically we can see how Buddhism has developed and changed in order to respond appropriately to new situations and today I think it’s the greatest crisis not only for the world but for Buddhism the greatest challenge to Buddhism to help us respond to understand and respond appropriately to this most dangerous time there’s a lot there good luck
(1:04:23) for like that there are many aspects of Buddhist teachings that we could talk about but today I want to focus on what I think is the single most important Buddhist teaching today and that is the bodhisatta path now the bodhisatta path is often understood in a sectarian way right this is Mahayana it’s not terada but I think we don’t need to think of it in that way uh I think the bodh SATA path is something that develops
(1:05:26) naturally when through our spiritual practice we begin to see through our own egotism our own self- preoccupation right Buddhism is about letting go of our sense of self realizing our interconnectedness and when we do this we turn away from our own Dua our own self- preoccupation and we become more aware of the greater Dua in the world and the meaning of our life naturally changes I think from what’s in it for me to what can I do to make this a better world for everyone I think this is a natural development so when I say bodh satop
(1:06:19) paath please don’t understand it in a sectarian way but understand it in this way um for by by
(1:07:48) sorry something like that and then um so that’s the okay so today I would like to talk about the three most important aspects of the Bodhi SATA path the first aspect is that Bodhi satas have a double practice a two-sided practice bodh SATA continue to work on their own personal transformation for example meditation whatever their path may be but they know that that is insufficient so they are also engaged in the world they are also doing what they can to make this a better world for everyone
(1:09:22) fore but it’s more than saying that those two practices go well together I think it’s important for us to realize that these two different practices actually need each other if either one is to be as effective as we need it to be for example maybe most of us here know someone who is a social activist maybe an Eco activist an EOS SATA but what happens to be a social activist is a very difficult path it’s very easy to become exhausted burnt out frustrated angry I see this all the time that’s why it’s so
(1:10:11) important also to have a personal spiritual practice or mindfulness practice that can help to ground you you see if you have this personal practice it will help you deal with those times of great frustration and anger when we are not successful in what we are trying to do so yeah I guess what I’m saying is I think that to be a good bodh we also need to be grounded or rooted in personal practice for
(1:11:25) [Music] [Applause] so social engagement needs to be grounded or rooted in personal practice but it also works the other way around too okay if we think about why do we come to meditation why do we come to the Buddhist path usually almost always it’s because there’s some problem some dooka in our own lives so we sense something is missing something isn’t right and so that’s why we learn to meditate but there’s a danger here too at the beginning we are motivated by our own personal problem but as we practice
(1:12:29) and as we begin to see through the delusion of Separation the delusion that there’s a me inside separate from all of you the rest of the world outside it’s important that we also see through this self- preoccupation at a certain point we realize the fundamental problem is our self concern you know what’s in it for me always thinking about ourselves and at that point we realize we have to make a turn to being engaged with other people being engaged in the world okay for uh
(1:14:16) the Czech writer France kofka he said something very profound I think in a letter he wrote you can hold back from the sufferings of the world you can hold back from that that is something you are free to do but perhaps that is the one suffering that you could avoid huh very interesting he says holding back from the sufferings of the world that is a kind of suffering too because it reinforces is our sense of Separation our sense of Duality which is the fundamental problem
(1:15:40) [Music] okay the the Hindu teacher n Arad vantan he put this very well he said when I look inside and see that I am nothing that is wisdom when I look outside and see that I am everything everyone that is love between these two my life flows I think that’s very very beautiful and you know he so he talks about wisdom and love this is these are the two pillars of the Buddhist path right wisdom and compassion and they need each other
(1:16:52) um um for I suppose that I don’t know about Thailand but in America uh there are some people who have a very romantic romanticized idea about meditation and the Buddhist path like they want to go into a cave and if I can just meditate hard enough in the cave then like milera I can become deeply enlightened but I think there’s actually a problem with this way of thinking Joan Macy said it very well she said the world has a
(1:17:58) role to play in my Awakening actually my Awakening is not something that happens just in a cave but our relating our relationship with other people is part of our path learning how to relate to people differently um r ramas uh an American teacher he said to
(1:19:17) his students so you think you’re enlightened huh go spend the holidays with your family see how it goes I think you get the point yes uh I began my Buddhist practice in Hawaii a long time ago uh and it it was a the Maui zendo a very small and basically most of us were hippies but we were very serious about our practice and people many people had insights in Zen we would say Keno it’s one thing to have an Insight but what about integrating that into how you actually live that is the greater challenge integrating what you realize
(1:20:13) into how you actually relate to other people that’s the point you see we need other people to help us integrate whatever we realize into how we actually live and that’s why the bodh SATA path can help us do that that you could even say the person who benefits most from the bodh sata’s activity is the bodh SATA herself I think so okay um ramash [Music] okay
(1:21:52) for for so that is the first point that the bodh SATA has a double P path personal transformation working for social transformation but these two paths are connected they need each other yeah the second point I think today frankly we have a deeper and better understanding of Dua of suffering and this is the primary concern of the buddhis SATA to address suffering and I think we can see now uh yeah the at the time of the Buddha when we look at his attitude toward women we can see that he was very Progressive he created a bikuni sa also
(1:23:01) we can see that he was very Progressive about cast because when you join the sa you lose cast but over time this Progressive side of Buddhism I think it was lost so the bikuni sa faded away and also Buddhism became Buddhism it started out very small as a kind of a cult but as it grew and became bigger it needed Royal support it needed Royal Toleration right and so are you going to criticize the king you know you have to be very careful there and so Buddhism historically in Asia it be it had to be very careful about social implications
(1:23:51) it couldn’t criticize the king I realize in Thailand that has special meaning today right but in general in general that this is a problem Buddhism wanted support so it it it didn’t have a social Edge it focused so much on personal transformation it didn’t really talk about the dooka caused by classes caused by economic o oppression right it couldn’t do it but to now now I think it’s absolutely essential for us to talk about those things sorry anelie that’s a lot to talk about for
(1:25:27) [Applause] uh so we have we need and I think we have a deeper understanding of Dua today for example most of us here we are familiar
(1:26:33) with the three poisons also known as The Three Fires right greed ill will and delusion traditionally Buddhism has talked about these as individual problems that we have to deal with in our practice today to however I think we can see they’re not only individual problems they are collective problems they are institutionalized problems we have institutionalized them for example institutionalized greed if greed means that you never have enough I think that’s our economic system that always wants to keep growing
(1:27:19) right never enough more profit more market share big B ger and bigger corporations right but why is more and more always better if it’s not enough and of course this is connected with consumerism institutionalized ill will well we think about our military establishments huge military last year the world’s Nations spent about $2.
(1:27:51) 2 trillion on their military a horrible wasting of resources right and then also institutionalized delusion well think about the media think in America I talk about Fox News or Facebook or the way that the internet controls captures our attention so these problems greed ill will delusion they are not only personal problems they have become institutionalized and it means we have to find ways to work together to challenge these institutionalized poisons too sorry an a lot there again yeah okay fore
(1:29:50) um uh Fox News Facebook I started Zen practice in the early 1970s and since then there has been a very important development in American Buddhism maybe it’s the same here in Thailand I don’t know but a lot more realization about the importance of social engagement
(1:30:53) and so people in America Buddhists realize how it’s important to do things like uh homeless shelters to uh kitchens to help homeless people or prison Dharma uh you have Buddhist teachers going into prisons to teach inmates how to meditate for example or hospice uh at the end of life that Buddhist can be very helpful uh being with people who are dying all of this is wonderful but still it’s working only on the individual level you can say that American Buddhism we are better at helping to pull drowning people out of the
(1:31:42) river we’re better at doing that but we’re not very good yet about asking why why are there so many more people drowning in the river yeah we have to look at the larger social issues about what is creating the problems rather than simply trying to help individuals um for
(1:33:21) uh uh Bill McKibbon is a very important figure in American uh climate movement right when he was in Paris for the talks a few years ago for for the climate talks he was in Paris and somebody asked him the problem is so difficult what can I do as an individual and he said stop being an [Music] individual interesting when it comes to climate change the climate crisis yes we have to reduce our carbon footprint but you we have to do much more in order to address the larger problems we have to work
(1:34:26) together I can work by myself on my own greed ill will delusion I can do that in my meditation my personal life but if we are going to challenge institutionalized greed institutionalized ill will institutionalized delusion then we have to create stronger s stronger communities and together that’s the second Point um Bill m connected car
(1:36:20) footprint so let me now talk about the third and the final the third and final aspect of the Bodhi SATA path that I want to talk about and it is the bodic saop paath does not tell us what to do specifically h because this our situation today is so different like we said but the Bodhi SATA has the bodhisatta path teaches us a lot about how to do what we decide to do and there it’s a very very valuable teaching for
(1:37:55) so what is the most important and distinctive and powerful thing about the bodhisatwa path is that although bodh satas do the very best they can they act without attachment to the results um yes go ahead okay in the poly Canon the Buddhist says that the actions of of an enlightened person are NASA I don’t know if I pronounce it right NASA but usually translated as
(1:39:00) without expectation and some people even say without hope and it’s not only in the poly Canan but also in the Tibetan teaching the L Jong teaching it says abandon any expectation of fruition of result don’t get caught up in how you will be in the future in what will happen in the future but stay in the present moment and this is not only Buddhist but we find it in other religions too for example the Bhagavad Gita the most important Hindu text the Bhagavad Gita talks about different paths to God and one of the paths is
(1:39:48) karma yoga the act the the karma the path of action right Karma literally means action but what does it say the emphasis is on nonattachment to result your right is to the work never to the fruits so in this path again we do the best we can but in a nonattached way because we know that we can’t control the results looking for that low L Jong um low J teing yeah non attachment to power it off not attachment to results not attachment to to to the fruit
(1:41:20) uh abandon the path for um when we say nonattachment to results actually that’s a little bit dangerous because it’s so easy to misunderstand it results are important but it’s important for us not to be attached you see Buddhism has always emphasized our intentions our motivations and the danger is you might think oh it doesn’t matter if it happens the only thing that’s important is how pure my intention is and that is a serious misunderstanding I think it’s not simply the purity of our minds there’s something more involved here like for
(1:43:56) so let me move to a conclusion by unpacking a little bit what does nonattachment to results really mean it’s important for us to understand this in the right way yeah let me begin with an example consider the difference between running 100 meter dash suppose you are a sprinter right 100 meter dash and running a marathon right when you run a 100 meter dash you don’t have time to think about anything else right it’s just getting to the Finish Line as quickly as possible right but if you try to run a marathon
(1:44:44) that way what will happen you will burn out very quickly right to run a marathon on it needs a different mindset you are moving in a certain direction and if you continue in that direction you all you will eventually get there but it’s important to be in the moment just this step right just this step just this step to be fully here and now and when you do this there’s a kind of a runner high so you’re not so much focused on getting somewhere else but it actually requires you to become fully present in each step
(1:45:30) you’re moving in a certain direction but still the focus is on each step each step each step and of course this is the kind of thing Buddhism if you think about it Buddhism has always encouraged us to live in the present even when we are working towards some goal like so we we in our so one meaning of non-attachment is because we are focused on here and now and what we need to do we’re not caught up in our head we’re actually focusing doing what making sure that we are going in the right direction as well
(1:46:11) as we can is that too much yeah no okay um um for for but there’s more to say when we run a marathon we still know there’s an end point right and we’ve got to the end what about a path with no end I’m thinking about about what we call the bodhisatwa vows in Zen right in the Zen centers that I lived in every day at least once we recite the four vows and the first vow is although living beings are numberless I vow to save them all if you think about it it’s very strange I am vowing to do something that can’t be done it’s impossible it’s a kind of paradox or
(1:48:28) contradiction I don’t think so because the point of that is the focus is not on achieving a goal the focus is on the personal transformation in the meaning of my life so to take the bodh SATA vow is to say the meaning of my life is not about what’s in it for me how I can become rich or famous or something but it’s really always doing what I can to help other people and knowing that there is never any end to that and so what we’re really talking about is a transformation of our character and the transformation of the
(1:49:13) meaning of one’s life instead of self-centeredness to be devoted to promoting the well-being and The Awakening of everyone for FOC okay but there is a third and final aspect of nonattachment to results and to me this is the most important one of all and I’m going to finish by talking a little bit about this right so it’s especially important when we realize just how dangerous how difficult the ecological situation is we’ve seen this last year how quickly the heating has happened and the truth is we don’t know we don’t know what’s going to happen and we don’t know whether what we do can make any difference whatsoever
(1:51:39) yes and this is a a kind of difficult awkward situation to be in it it can be very frustrating and very depressing that the truth is maybe it’s too late maybe civilization as we know will break down that’s a serious possibility how do we respond to that we just don’t know do we Okay um [Music]
(1:52:49) um [Music] so we don’t know what’s going to happen we don’t know what can happen we don’t know whether what we do can make any difference but it’s interesting that in in my tradition in the Zen tradition in particular one of the things that we emphasize is don’t know mind this is actually something really important to cultivate the fact that we don’t know does not stop us but in a way there’s something very empowering about it there’s something very opening I think some of you here might
(1:53:51) be familiar with uh an American engaged group the Zen peacemakers has anyone heard about the Zen peacemakers the first tenant of the Zen peacemakers is don’t know mind you know this we cultivate this way of the problem with no mind with the problem with knowing mind is when we know or when we think we know our mind is more closed more fixed and the idea of don’t know mind is to be more open to be more flexible we do the best we can according to what we know but we’re also ready to change as the situation changes or as
(1:54:40) our understanding of the situation changes so a real kind of flexibility in the way that our mind works that we’re not stuck that we accept in some ultimate sense we don’t know but we still do the best we can um um
(1:56:02) Peacemaker don’t know mind [Music] for there is an old Sufi story I think you know Sufism it’s the the spiritual path in in Islam yeah there’s an old story about a man who went about his life doing good and always helping other people and God noticed this man and God spoke to him and said I’m going to give you one wish as a reward for all of the good things that you have been
(1:57:06) doing and the man thought about it for a while and he decided that his wish would be that he would continue throughout his life to do good to help other people but that he would never know when or how or especially who that he helped he wouldn’t know God granted this wish to the man you will not know who you have helped or how you have helped them and he liked that idea so much that he granted the same wish to everyone to all of us from that day forward all people unknowingly helped the people around us but we never know who we have
(1:57:59) helped we never know how what difference we have made and so it has been so it continues to be this day um [Music] uh for one of my teachers Robert Atkin he liked to say our task our spiritual job it is not to clear up the mystery but to make the mystery clear it it’s kind of a Twist it’s hard to understand maybe yeah but his basic point is really the spiritual path it’s not as though suddenly ah now I understand everything you know how everything is working in a way it’s the opposite the problem is we always think we understand and we open up we learn on the spiritual path we open up there’s an essential mystery
(2:00:41) right this world is mysterious how things happen some things we can understand but there’s a fundamental mystery and on the spiritual path it’s about being open to this mystery while we do the best we can to be compassionate and to help other people Robert for
(2:02:16) I think it’s important to see that what we’re talking about here it’s not optimism pessimism you know or hope and despair these are Head Trips right optimism uh pessimism they tend to go together it’s a kind of dualistic thinking about the future optimism things will get better pessimism things will get worse or hope and desp spare these are actually dangerous ways of thinking because we end up there’s a kind of a grasping that we want things to be a certain way and when they’re not going to be the way that we want them to
(2:03:05) then we can feel very frustrated right it it’s really important to distinguish I think between Despair and grief right right despair is thinking about the future and what’s going to happen in the future and maybe we lose hope despair hope they feed off each other grief is different it’s more powerful it’s more bodily and it’s essential I think it’s it’s important for us to get in touch with our grief in in downtown London I once saw a a memorial a small memorial to the victims of 9/11 September
(2:03:56) 11th this Memorial it only the only thing it said is grief is the price we pay for love we grieve what we love we grieve because we love and it’s important for us to get in touch with our grief because given the state of the world given what’s happening I think we all have some grief it’s the price of love but it’s also something that we should appreciate it seems to me in my own life my own grief for what’s happening sometimes is is very precious it’s it’s a reminder of what I love and also the
(2:04:53) grief it makes a difference in How I Live you can say that the grief is a constant reminder don’t get caught up don’t get caught up in little things it always reminds me what’s really important it helps cut through the daily distractions so the grief is something that I really appreciate I think it’s now an essential part of my of of my life because it helps to clarify it helps to remind me how I should live the important things in life and not to get caught up in only the small ones fore
(2:06:22) um despair grief [Music] [Music] despair London London for um [Music] 911 uh they Mark how are you doing you’re tired no I’m good um an American writer Wendel Barry wrote we don’t have the right to ask whether we will succeed or not the only question we have the right to ask is what is the right thing to do okay and and the only question we can ask is what what does the right thing to do so to pull all this
(2:09:02) together this points to the deepest meaning of nonattachment to results of don’t know mind in this time of world crisis and this is the summary our task ask our job today for all of us is to do the very best we can without knowing whether anything we do is going to make any difference whatsoever maybe we have already passed maybe it’s already too late maybe there’s tipping points maybe civilization as we know it is destined to fall apart this is a possibility we don’t know but it’s okay that we don’t
(2:09:57) know you see it means that our what we do how we respond to the ecological crisis what we do this is our gift to the Earth it is our gift to the Earth and to each other but it’s a gift think about a gift when you give a gift if you give a gift and you expect something in return well that’s not a gift a gift is given freely and that’s what we are called upon to do we are called upon to act to do the very best we can but everything we do is our gift to the Earth not knowing what effect that will have we don’t
(2:10:47) know we we can’t know if what we do is important but it is very important for us to do it does that make sense yeah for me that’s the summary of the whole the whole of the Bodhi SATA the most the kernel the heart the core of the Bodhi SATA [Music] path okay finish [Music]
(2:12:16) fore okay [Music] um to [Music] for um s so this this nonattachment to results which I think is the core or one of the essential things this is an ideal yes and we we have to be honest maybe sometimes we don’t live up to the ideal it’s very hard to be completely non-attached yeah but that’s okay we are human we accept this we do the best we can we’re not required to be perfect but because we also have the personal the meditation it’s like maybe we’re attached to the results but when we are frustrated what happens we can meditate
(2:13:59) we can let go while we are meditating so we have this way to cultivate the nonattachment maybe we never become perfect that’s okay we still work do the best we can um so to conclude frankly to be honest I think that if contemporary Buddhism if Buddhists today if we do not want to follow this Bodhi SATA path then maybe Buddhism isn’t what the world needs right now right but of course what I’ve tried to show is that I think there’s a very important teaching in Buddhism that can help us but to understand that teaching and to actually try to put it into practice and to live accordingly that is our challenge that is what we are all called upon to do thank you

สรุปสาระสำคัญ โดย Areeya Tiva

ปาฐกถาเสม พริ้งพวงแก้ว เรื่อง “Ecodharma ธรรมนิเวศ : อนาคตสรรพสิ่งในโลกที่กำลังเดือด โดย David R. Loy นักเขียนและธรรมาจารย์เซนชาวอเมริกัน และแปลภาษา โดย อัญชลี คุรุธัช (ดูย้อนหลังได้ที่ )

เพื่อนมอญในแชตเริ่มด้วยคำถามว่า ทำไมตั้งชื่องานว่า Global Boiling? พอกลับมาดูชื่อหนังสือของ อ.เดวิด มันก็เขียนเพียงว่า Ecodharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis ส่วนตัวเดาว่า การเลือกใช้ โลกเดือด น่าจะสอดคล้องกับสภาวะโกลาหล สงครามและโลกร้อนที่กำลังส่งผลกระทบอย่างรุนแรงในหลาย ๆ พื้นที่ และการพยายามให้นิยาม climate change ที่ดูเหมือนจะหาคำแปลไทยที่มากกว่าโลกร้อนไม่ได้สักที

อ.เดวิด เปิดประเด็นด้วยบทสนทนาที่ลูกศิษย์ถามธรรมาจารย์เซนว่า ควรจะปฏิบัติอย่างไรในยามลำบาก ธรรมาจารย์เซนบอกว่าให้โอบรับและต้อนรับด้วยการตอบสนองอย่างเหมาะสม “embrace and welcome difficult times by responding appropriately”

อ.เดวิด เสนอว่า ในยามวิกฤตทางนิเวศ พุทธศาสนา Buddhism มีคำสอนที่สามารถเอามาปรับประยุกต์เพื่อเผชิญหน้ากับวิกฤติและความทุกข์ยากได้เช่นกัน หากเราไม่แบ่งแยกมหานิกายกับเถรวาทออกจากกัน “เส้นทางพระโพธิสัตว์ bodhisattva path” ที่สอนให้กระทำการโดยไม่ยึดติดกับผลลัพธ์ acting without attachment to the results น่าจะเป็นหนึ่งแนวทางที่น่านำเสนอให้กับโลกมนุษย์ แต่นี่ไม่ใช่การแนะนำว่าควรทำอะไร แต่เป็นการนำเสนอว่าน่าจะทำอย่างไร Buddhist teachings do not tell us what to do, but they tell us a lot about **how** to do it

แต่ด้วยบริบทและช่วงเวลาที่พระพุทธเจ้าดำรงอยู่นั้น ช่างแตกต่างกับปัจจุบัน อีกทั้งหลักคำสอนของพุทธเองก็ไม่เคยหยุดนิ่ง ปรับเปลี่ยนและลื่นไหลไปตามสภาวะและค่านิยมของสังคมนั้น ๆ ดังนั้น ยามวิกฤตที่เรากำลังเผชิญอยู่ก็ท้าทายศาสนาพุทธให้ปรับตัวเช่นกัน

อ.เดวิด เสนอแนวคำสอน 3 ประการ

(1) โอบรับทั้งการเปลี่ยนแปลงภายในและเข้าไปยุ่งเกี่ยวกับโลกภายนอก โดยไม่แบ่งแยกโลกออกเป็นสองขั้ว nonduality เพราะการเข้าไปยุ่งเกี่ยวกับโลกก็เป็นกระบวนการสำคัญในการตื่นรู้ เป็นการนำสิ่งที่ปัจเจกภาวนาไปลงมือปฏิบัติจริง “Engagement in the world is how our individual awakening blossoms, and contemplative practices such as meditation ground our activism, transforming it into a spiritual path.”

(2) ทุกข์ที่มากกว่าปัจเจก ทุกข์ระดับสถาบัน Dukha are not only personal sufferings but now they are institutionalized บริบทที่แตกต่างทำให้เราต้องปรับความเข้าใจว่า ทุกข์ ในวันนี้เป็นอย่างไร ในอดีตพุทธศาสนาเป็นความเชื่อของผู้คนจำนวนเล็กน้อย แต่ศาสนาจะถูกเผยแพร่ได้กว้างไกลก็ต้องอิงกับอำนาจใหญ่ของสังคม ข้อจำกัดนี้อาจทำให้พุทธศาสนากลายเป็นหลักคำสอนที่โฟกัสกับปัจเจกเป็นหลัก แต่เหตุแห่งทุกข์อันได้แก่ โลภ โกรธ หลง กลายเป็นปัญหาทุกข์ยากระดับโครงสร้าง อ.เดวิด เสนอว่า พุทธเคยมีภิกษุณีสังฆะที่เข้มแข็ง เคยเป็นสิ่งที่ช่วยให้คนจัณฑาลปลดแอกจากระบบวรรณะ ดังนั้น หากเราสามารถเสริมความเข้มแข็งของสังฆะและชุมชน จะเป็นการถักทอความสัมพันธ์ให้ปัจเจกมุ่งปฏิบัติทั้งเพื่อตัวเองและผู้อื่นได้เช่นกัน อ.เดวิด ยกคำพูดของนักรณรงค์โลกร้อน Bill McKibben ที่เสนอให้รวมกลุ่ม “the most important thing an individual can do, is be a little less of an individual and join together with others in movements large enough to make change.”

(3) nirasa นิรสา แปลว่า ไม่คาดหวัง without expectations or hope แน่นอนผลลัพธ์ของการกระทำนั้นสำคัญ แต่เราไม่ควรยึดติดกับผลลัพธ์ results are important but not to attach ความไม่ยึดติดดังกล่าว ทำให้เราไม่รู้ และจิตที่ไม่รู้ “don’t know mind” จะยืดหยุ่นกว่า เปิดรับการเปลี่ยนแปลง และบ่มเพาะพลังภายใน (empower) มากกว่าจิตที่รู้ ที่มักปิดกั้นและยึดติดกับสิ่งใดสิ่งหนึ่ง โดยเฉพาะความเป็นคู่ตรงข้าม เช่น ความสิ้นหวัง / ความหวัง despair / hope ที่หล่อเลี้ยงกันและกันและทำให้เรายึดติดกับสิ่งใดสิ่งหนึ่ง

อ.เดวิด ยกคำกล่าวจากอนุสรณ์รำลึกผู้เสียชีวิตในช่วง 9/11 มาเป็นเครื่องเตือนใจว่า “Grief is the price we pay for love” ความอาลัยเศร้าโศกคือราคาที่เราต้องจ่ายเพื่อความรัก หากเรามองว่า สิ่งที่ต่างจาก despair ความสิ้นหวัง คือ grief ความโศกเศร้า เราจะเรียนรู้ที่จะปล่อยวาง ไม่ยึดติด ตัวเราจะชัดขึ้นว่าสิ่งใดเป็นสิ่งสำคัญในชีวิต

การภาวนาและฝึกสมาธิ meditation เป็นหนึ่งในสิ่งที่พุทธศาสนาเสนอว่าเราจะโอบรับความยากลำบากอย่างไร การไม่ยึดติดและตระหนักถึงความไม่จีรังอันเป็นธรรมชาติของโลก ชวนให้เราตระหนักรู้ถึงสายสัมพันธ์ที่เกี่ยวโยงตัวเรากับสรรพสิ่ง แทนที่ตัดขาดตัวเราจากสรรพสิ่ง การแบ่งแยกตัวเราจากสายใยชีวิตต่างหากที่เอื้อให้ความโลภ โกรธ หลงเกาะกินเราจนทำให้เราเห็นเพียงความสิ้นหวัง พังทลาย

ตลอดเวลาที่ฟังปาฐกถเสม แพรนึกถึงคำว่า response-ability ของกลุ่มนักคิดสตรีนิยมหลากสายพันธุ์ feminist multispecies scholars เช่น Donna Haraway เด้งขึ้นมาทันที มันเป็นการเล่นคำกับ response การตอบสนอง/ตอบกลับ และ responsibility ความรับผิดชอบ ที่เมื่อเรารับรู้และรู้สึกกับสายสัมพันธ์ที่เรามีกับสิ่งอื่น ๆ และตระหนักว่าตัวเราก็ประกอบสร้างจากสายสัมพันธ์เหล่านั้น เราก็ต้องมีความรับผิดชอบต่อการกระทำและการถูกกระทำของเราตัวเรากับสรรพสิ่งเช่นกัน ในแนวคิดหลากสายพันธุ์ศึกษา multispecies studies ใช้คำว่า the art of attentiveness บ้าง noticing บ้าง ซึ่งพัฒนามาจากเรื่องของผัสสารมณ์ affects ที่กลุ่มสตรีนิยมทำให้เห็นถึงอำนาจของปัจเจกที่ทั้งกำลังถูกเบียดเบียน ปะทะและโต้กลับ

หากทุกข์ เป็นมากกว่าเรื่องของปัจเจก แต่เป็นเรื่องของโครงสร้างและระบบที่ทำให้เกิดทุกข์ แพรนึกถึงกระบวนการของกลุ่มชนเผ่าพื้นเมือง ที่ชวนตั้งคำถามกับเบื้องหลังปัญหาสิ่งแวดล้อมและมลพิษ ด้วยการสาวตามสายใยกกระบวนการที่หล่อหลอมให้เรามองปรากฎการณ์ดังกล่าวเป็นเพียงเรื่องน่าหดหู่และดูไร้ทางออก แต่มันมีกลไกทางความคิดที่พยายามตัดขาดสายสัมพันธ์ของคนกับสรรพสิ่งให้กลายเป็นเพียงวัตถุหรือมีค่าเพียงเพราะมันมีประโยชน์ทางเศรษฐกิจหรือต่อเจ้าอำนาจหรือเจ้าอาณานิคมเท่านั้น ช่วงเวลาโศกเศร้า griefing จึงเป็นทั้งเครื่องเตือนใจและสิ่งที่เสริมพลังความมีชีวิตชีวิตของมนุษย์และสรรพสิ่ง ดั่งที่ อ.เดวิด ยกตัวอย่าง (ขอบคุณแม่ที่ทำให้รู้จักการเศร้าโศกอาลัย)

ท่ามกลางสภาวะโหดร้ายทารุณที่ผู้คนยังคงเผชิญ ไม่ว่าจะสงครามฆ่ากัน ความเกลียดชังที่มาจากจุดยืนทางการเมืองที่ต่างกัน การขูดรีดแรงงานและความเป็นเพศสภาวะอื่น การจะมาไตร่ตรองจิตแบบธรรมนิเวศอาจเป็นเพียงสิ่งที่คนมีอภิสิทธิ์บางอย่างจะมีเวลาให้ อย่างไรก็ตาม การชวนมองพุทธศาสนาเป็นสิ่งที่ลื่นไหล flow เป็นการเปิดกรอบความคิดและเชิญชวนให้คนมีความคิดสร้างสรรค์และเข้าร่วมปะทะหนุนเสริมกันได้ดี กระบวนการแบบนี้น่าจะช่วยปลดแอกจากความคิดครอบงำที่คอยเน้นแต่ปัจเจกและยกตัวเราให้สูงส่งกว่าสิ่งอื่นๆ ที่ปฏิบัติธรรมไม่ได้ แต่เปิดความเป็นไปได้ใหม่ ๆ ที่จะเกิดขึ้นจากสายสัมพันธ์ใหม่ ๆ ของธรรมนิเวศ ecodharma ที่จิตที่ไม่รู้จะนำพา